There’s one piece of advice that I get ALL THE TIME, and when I hear it, I always, always laugh. On the inside. On the outside I usually nod and say “I know,” and try not to let on that I’m kind of making fun of them in my head. So I guess that means that I’m confessing to everyone that if you’re one of the people who gave me this piece of advice at any point in the last 5 months, I laughed at you without telling you. Sorry about that.
If I could only have nickel for every time someone said, “Just remember that every baby is different. Just because something worked for someone else’s baby doesn’t mean it will work for yours. No two babies are alike.”
Believe me, I don’t have to be told that no two babies are alike. I happen to have two of them at the moment, and you would think that they would be similar. I mean, they DID share a womb and all. But starting during pregnancy when Noah decided he would grow a couple extra sizes and Barrett just decided to quit growing altogether, they were determined to be different.
If you want to know what I’m talking about, here’s just a sampling:
- As of 2 weeks ago, Noah weighed 17lb 2oz. Barrett weighed 13lb 8oz. Noah is big and chunky. Barrett is a lightweight.
- Because of that size difference, they wear different sizes in everything from clothes to socks to diapers. They have separate sides in all of their dresser drawers so that whoever is dressing them doesnt get their clothes confused.
- They have to have different “levels” of bottle nipples… Noah doesn’t have as strong of a suction, so he has to have a faster flow.
- They don’t eat the same thing. Barrett has an allergy that I can’t pinpoint and has to be on a hypoallergenic formula. Noah can’t stand the taste of it. Noah turns his nose up at Barrett’s bottles. Barrett gets sick if he drinks Noah’s bottles.
- (different clothes, diapers, socks, bottles, formula, etc means I have a very full diaper bag, by the way)
- Noah has dark hair and brown eyes. Barrett has light hair and blue eyes.
- Barrett loves his mama. Noah loves his daddy.
- Noah will spend all day grinning and laughing at you. Barrett is Mr. Serious.
- Even though he’s serious, Barrett talks ALOT. Noah talks some, but he’s much more likely to just grin and laugh. I’m pretty sure Barrett is making political commentary or reciting his favorite doctoral dissertation from memory. Sometimes I think it’s a condescending lecture. You can never tell.
- Noah likes to have something to do. He will sit in his activity gym, lay on the activity mat, play with whoever is available, or anything else that is somewhat interactive. Barrett would rather sit on the couch and watch Fox News, or stare at the ceiling and ponder the problems of the universe. He is very good at entertaining himself and talking to himself. He doesn’t really need any assistance with it, but Noah wants to have a friend around.
- Noah is extremely laid back. Anything is fine with him, as long as you feed him on schedule and let him take a nap when he gets tired. He doesn’t really care about much else. Barrett is extremely picky. He has preferences about EVERYTHING. He would only take one specific paci and one specific type of bottle. He has a specific place on the couch that he wants to lie on. He wants to be held a very specific way. He wants to be swaddled in a very specific way. He won’t take a bottle if it’s cool. He doesn’t like the ceiling fan to be on. And if you do something that’s not in line with one of his many preferences, he will loudly let you know so that you can correct it.
- Even though Noah is laid back, he doesn’t really handle changes in the schedule. That’s mostly because he gets really tired and cant handle it if he cant take a nap. He needs his routine. Barrett can handle being a little spontaneous as far as the schedule goes. I can keep him up longer, feed him early or late, or put him to bed late and he doesn’t really care. When things happen doesn’t matter to him, its the WAY that things happen that’s important.
- Noah likes to sleep on his tummy and doesn’t want to be wrapped up. Barrett sleeps on his back and wants to be tightly swaddled. And usually he finds some way to cover his face with a blanket or bib or something while he sleeps.
- When Noah wakes up from a nap, he wants to play. He will let you know he’s awake so you’ll come get him and play with him. When Barrett wakes from a nap, nobody knows. I’ll walk into the room and he’s playing with his feet or his hands. He entertains himself and most of the time doesn’t even let anyone know he’s awake. I have no idea how much sleep he actually gets.
- Noah has very distinguishable sleepy signals. His laughing and cooing suddenly takes on a different tone, and if you don’t put him to bed soon, he will start fussing. When he’s tired, he tells you. Barrett has extremely subtle sleepy signals, and they’re easy to miss. Sometimes he zones out a little. Sometimes he chirps quietly. Most of the time I just have to guess.
- Speaking of sleep, Noah begs to go to sleep. He gets tired and wants to be put down in his crib. He’ll squirm and fuss until you put him down. He does not want to go to sleep in your arms. Barrett begs not to be put down. He wants you to rock him to sleep and then sit completely still for 2 hours so he can get a good solid nap in your arms. Of course, this doesn’t happen, so he usually yells at me a good deal. He gets really mad at me when I put him in the crib, then usually as soon as I leave, he stops. Sometimes I can step 2 feet away from the crib where he can’t see me, and he’ll stop.
- If they wake up in the middle of a nap, you can’t go in and “help” Noah back to sleep or it makes it worse. He does better working it out on his own. Barrett wants you to go in and reswaddle, change, or pat him, then he’ll go back to sleep.
- Noah is very visual. Barrett is very auditory.
- Noah loves tummy time. Barrett hates it.
- Noah hates the car seat. Barrett doesn’t mind it.
- Noah loves everybody. Barrett is slightly more discriminating. Which means you shouldn’t take it personally when he looks at you suspiciously.
And that’s just the beginning of it. I could go on and on. Needless to say, I have two very different boys. So yes, I am very aware that no two babies are alike!